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Story [The West Wing] The Life and Times of Leo Lyman (Dear Diary Challenge 2017) - Update June 1

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by mavjade , Jan 4, 2017.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: The Life and Times of Leo Lyman
    Author: mavjade
    Fandom: The West Wing
    Characters: OC: Leo Lyman. Josh Lyman and Donna Moss-Lyman will certainly be a part of it.
    Genre: AU - Well, it takes place in the future of the show, so there really isn’t any material from which to be AU. Everything from the show will be considered Canon.
    Notes: This is for the Dear Diary Challenge, so ultimately it will be updated throughout the year, at least twice a month. Hopefully my muse cooperates!

    This is a companion piece to my story He’ll Know They Stood Up (It’s Time to Consider Yourself). It’s where I introduced this OC that is the child of Josh and Donna. You don’t have to read that story to understand this one.

    You shouldn’t need to know much about The West Wing to understand this story because it all takes place years after the end of the show in 2007. If things come up you need to know, I’ll make sure to have a note about it. A few things you might want to know up front are:

    The West Wing was a show about the people who work for the President of the United States, their day to day lives working in the executive branch of the federal government.

    The Characters and their canon info you should know are:

    Josh Lyman - He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for President Bartlet and the Chief of Staff for President Santos.

    Donna Moss-Lyman - (The Lyman part is not canon). She was Josh’s assistant while they worked in the Bartlet White House and was Chief of Staff for First Lady Helen Santos

    Sam Seaborn - A very good friend of Josh’s since before they worked in the White House. He was Deputy Communications Director in the Bartlet White House, and Deputy Chief of Staff for President Santos.

    For those who might not be as familiar with U.S. Government workings:

    Chief of Staff- Often considered the second most powerful person in the U.S. as they are the closest adviser to the President. They are the highest ranking employee of the White House. The President appoints them and no one (Congress) has to approve their position.

    - - - -

    Entry 1:

    January 20th, 2055

    Wow! I remember this diary quite well, though I haven’t seen it in many, many years.

    My mother gave me this diary when I was ten years old. I had just learned that my father had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I guess I was scared, something she probably knew. I think it was probably the first time I realized my dad wasn’t perfect. That’s always a lesson that is hard to learn, no matter how old you are.

    Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I handled the situation pretty well for such a young boy. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t get angry, but I do remember being pretty quiet. Well, I remember my mom saying I was pretty quiet.

    She came home from work one day and handed me this journal in a box. She’d told me it had always helped her to write down her feelings and that she felt like I could use it. There was no judgment about how I was reacting, only a means of working through it.

    My mom, she was quite the lady. She still is.

    Thinking about that day makes me amazed at how well my parents handled that situation. They explained PTSD in a way that a ten-year-old could understand, but didn’t talk down and didn’t downplay what could still happen. It makes me wonder if I would do as well with my own children if I had to explain such a hard subject to them. Thankfully, I haven’t. Yet.

    I wish my dad could be here today, I know he would be so proud of me. I always lived to make him proud. There was never a time where I felt he wasn’t proud of me, but today, I think, would be the top of it all. When he died, I promised myself I’d go for what I wanted with everything I had. I know that is what he wanted for me, it’s just convenient we both had interests in the same things.

    He never pushed me to politics, and I didn’t start there, but I found my way to it, on my own. The day I told him I was fed up with the way things in this country were going and I was going to do something about it, well let's just say I never saw him smile so brightly. He was so happy, I joked that it was only so he could live that life again, vicariously through me. But it made me glad that my decision brought him so much joy. He had dedicated his life to trying to make things better for other people, and I was happy to follow in his footsteps.

    So, here I am. Ready to start a new adventure. My family by my side, including my mom. She’s a young 77 years old and my biggest fan. She’s coming to live with us now, not because she needs us to look after her, but because she wants to help care for the kids. I’m more than happy for the help, and to spend more time with her.

    Well, I guess it’s time, Dear Diary, er... Daryl. I’m happy to have found you again. I’m hopeful that reading some of these entries will prove amusing and enlightening.

    Yours always,

    Leo
     
  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    [​IMG]

    This makes me so happy!!!! And also curious. Will this be the diary of Leo in 2051, or Leo reflecting and commenting on the past now that his life has changed forever (I may be a Canadian - but I'm not an idiot - I did see the date :p ) or a little of both? Either way, I can't wait to see your version of the future.

    That is just so Donna to keep a diary to work through things, but also to give her son such a gift that would help him out.

    YOU KILLED JOSH OFF ALREADY?!?! :eek: (okay, I'm not judging - it totally makes sense given the date and the fact that we BOTH KNOW he served 3 presidents - I'm just a little shocked that you would do that.

    I can't wait to read more!

    EDIT: TAG ME WHEN YOU UPDATE PLEASE!!
     
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  3. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Excellent start, and my dad wasn't perfect is a sentiment for fanfic and RL and everything in between. Congratulations on rising to the DDC^:)^
     
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  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    [face_dancing] :D Ooooh, I can't tell you how much of a happy camper I am to have two TWW diaries to look forward to all year!! Because I so am. And this! I loved meeting Leo in your companion piece, and can't wait to get to know him better here. I already adore him. :p [face_love]

    For this update, in particular, I love that Donna was the one to give Leo the diary. (Her diary was a plot point once in the show, was it not? My memory is fuzzy; it's been a bit since I last binged this show. :p) It's a very Donna thing to do; a great glimpse of her in mom-mode. I look forward to seeing more of that throughout the story - a young 77, I love it! Especially since you did already kill Josh off - oh, that hurt . . . that really, really hurt. :( But, knowing that Leo is honoring his father's memory and carrying him in his thoughts as he sets out on his path was somewhat of a balm . . . somewhat. ;)

    I thank you for sharing this with us. I'm really looking forward to what comes next! [face_love]=D=
     
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  5. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Fantastic start! Looking forward to seeing Leo's life play out in this diary. :)
     
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  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Wow, that's a brave time jump! And a good way to have a story about what you're obsessed with that won't be completely impossible to read for us who are not.

    I liked Leo in the story where you introduced him and seeing him as a grown up man is...intriguing, to say the least. And the way this DDC is connected to that story is great.

    Can't wait to see if this diary will spring back and forth between present and future and can't wait to see Leo's family. The date of the first entry also makes me wonder if [hl=black]Leo himself is going to work for a president OR be the president himself![/hl]
     
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  7. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    :D
    A little of both. It didn't start out that way, but once the idea of the future Leo finding it and reading it, I couldn't let that idea go. ( I may not be 100% sure how much it's going to be young Leo and older Leo, I keep going back and forth in my head of what to do.)

    I have no idea what you are talking about.... [face_batting] :p Okay, yes, it is significant.

    When I originally wanted to do a DDC (before I even thought of the backpack diary) I thought about Donna since we know she kept one for a period of time. I think she'd be the kind that says to write down your thoughts rather than bottle them up.

    I know... I can't believe I did it either. But yeah with his jobs/lifestyle and his having his pulmonary artery sewn back together I just didn't think he would make it to 90. As much as it pains me to do that to him!

    Thank you!! Will do!



    Thank you!
    Yeah, when that realization hits that your parents are real people and maybe not who you thought, it's kinda startling, at least it was for me.


    Thank you!! I'm not usually a huge OC person, but I do love the idea of Josh and Donna's kid. Thank you for wanting to get to know him better! I want to too!

    Yep, her diary was! She lied about it at the MS congressional hearing and Josh got her out of basically perjuring herself. That's exactly what I took Donna giving it to him from, I figured even though her's almost got her in trouble, she still sees the benefits of using one.
    And you should totally do a new binge watch and then start writing stories with us! :D

    You will hopefully see a lot more mom-mode Donna, but also Dad Josh, because while yes I did kill him (see my response to Bri for my reason) you'll still see him at other times though Leo.

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting!



    Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed!


    It is a little scary to jump that far, as it's hard to predict things that far in our own future. (I'm terrible with predicting technology for a few years in the future, much less that far!) But I'm going to do my best.
    Hopefully it will be okay to read even if you aren't familiar. Everything will take place after the show ends so it won't be directly referencing things you need to know from it, at least not often. I'll do my best to explain things in story, or in some notes.

    Thanks! It's a bit weird, I know, but once the idea of an older Leo came to me, he wouldn't let it go. He demanded that he be able to write as well. ;)

    You'll get your answer to the first question very soon. And to the second... we'll I'm not sure when, but you'll get it. (There is a definitive answer, but the date is significant.)
     
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  8. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Tag list: Briannakin

    Josiah “Jed” Bartlet was the President we spent the most time on TWW with. Josh was his Deputy Chief of Staff. It was because of the Bartlet for America campaign that Josh and Donna met.

    ~*~*~


    Entry 2:

    January 15th, 2020

    Dear Diary,

    Do I have to call you Diary? It’s not that I think it’s bad or anything, it just seems weird to call something I’m writing to? In? On? Diary. I feel like you need a name instead. I guess that’s kinda weird too, but at least it’s like writing a letter to someone and not just writing to a blank book. How about Daryl? It has most of the same letters.

    Dear Daryl,

    I guess I should tell you about myself, huh? My name is Leo Lyman, I’m ten years old. I live in Washington D.C. with my mom and dad, and my younger brother and sister. My dad is Josh Lyman, yes, that Josh Lyman. He works for my Uncle Sam or I guess I should call him President Uncle Sam.

    Not many people call my Uncle Sam by his name, not even my dad who has known him forever. It’s always Mr. President. I guess I’m kinda luck that way, Josie gets to call him dad, and I call him Uncle Sam. He’s not actually my uncle, I don’t have any actual aunts and uncles, but I have a lot of people we call family. Uncle Sam and Aunt Ansley are probably the closest to me.

    My mom used to work at the White House, but she doesn’t anymore. I guess Aunt Ainsley tried to get her to go back, but she wanted to spend more time with me, Noah and Abi. She does work for a group that helps soldiers when they’ve gotten into some trouble after they come home. It helps them to get the help they need instead of going to jail. It’s kinda a cool job!

    My brother and sister are twins who are almost five years old. They are kinda cute and can be a lot of fun, but they also can be annoying. I guess that’s just the way with little kids.

    Well I guess I should tell you why my mom gave me to write in. She said I could write down anything I wanted, but she gave it to me because of what I learned about dad.

    I’ve always known my dad had a thing about guns. He never liked movies with them in it, not that they’d let me watch much of them anyway. I learned from a kid at school when he asked if my dad was the one that was shot. It was a long time ago, back when Grandpa Jed was President. Grandpa Jed was also shot, but dad was shot in the chest and almost died. I read all about it online.

    I’d seen his scar that runs all the way down the middle of his chest, but I guess I never really thought about it. To me he’s always had it, and you can’t see it unless you are pretty close to him. I guess I should have thought about it being a scar, but I just didn’t. It’s just a part of him and I didn’t think about it.

    I decided to see if I could help him get over his fear of guns, but I learned that it’s not just that he’s scared, he has something called PTSD. It means he can’t really control his reactions and sometimes gets really panicky about things. He gets nightmares that seem really real, I guess because they are memories and not just things from scary movies. He and mom promised it doesn’t happen very often and they know what to do when it does, but it still freaks me out a little. Okay, more than a little.

    Why did that happen to my dad? Why does it still happen if it happened so long ago? I asked mom and dad and they said they really didn’t have answers, it wasn’t something anyone could explain. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Why has it been so long and no one really knows all that much. You’d think they’d know more by now.

    I don’t want my dad to have this happen to him even if it isn’t very often. I told him that maybe it would help if he told people, that it being such a big secret is making it worse. I don’t know if he’ll do it. He said he’d think about it, but he looked like he does when he says that and then that thing never happens. But I want to help and that was the only thing I could think of.

    I guess we’ll see.

    - Leo

    ~*~*~

    ~*~ Donna’s work is based off one of the actors from the show, Melissa Fitzgerald, who got into actual political work after the show and is now director of a non-profit called Justice for Vets. They are a group trying to get veteran’s treatment courts to be more used and widespread.

    ~*~ The twin siblings of Leo’s are stolen from Briannakin’s story New York Mistake. She’d named one of them Noah but not named the little girl. I named her Abi Gayle. Read on for the very long reason:

    Josh is Jewish, but he seems not to be very faithful and maybe more culturally Jewish. I’m basing how he relates to being Jewish on my boyfriend who’s kinda in the same place as Josh. In the Jewish faith, you don’t name someone after someone who is still alive (and is something my bf wants to observe). Leo is named after Leo McGarry, who was a father figure to Josh. Noah is named after Josh’s dad who died during the Bartlet Campaign.

    There are no females that we know who have died that are related or friends of Josh and Donna, other than Josh's sister, but since all they'd already pulled from Josh's family I wanted her to be someone they'd both know. So I went with them not naming their kid directly after someone, but the name being related. Abi Gayle is of course, a reference to Abigail Bartlet. It’s almost definitely a stretch to not naming after someone who is alive, but I can see Josh stretching that.
     
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  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Sigh. Can this just be my reality for the next four years? Because I just need this.

    Interesting to see your previous fic, this time from Leo's eyes. That feeling of "why did this happen to my parent" even though it happened long before the child arrived, is a feeling I really get. Leo really states his confusion and his empathy well. It must have been tough fining out from a peer and having to look it up online (though, let's just hope he didn't find the "Lemon Lyman" site).

    Also, "President Uncle Sam" is still just the cutest thing ever.

    I loved how you tied Donna to Justice for Vets - I learned about that from the podcast and I always thought it was awesome that Melissa Fitzgerald got into such an organization from being on the show.

    :p YES! YES! YES! Abi Gayle! I love it! Interesting to read about the Jewish tradition of not naming a child after a living person. I think I've heard that before. But the fact she is (kinda) named after Abbey is just so fitting. The image of Josh with twins just kills me.
     
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  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    And you should totally do a new binge watch and then start writing stories with us! :D

    [face_laugh] :D You know what? It really has been too long. I'll have to add that to my list! (And then, you never know. I have a very impressionable muse. :p)


    As for this update: Josh and Donna with twins just about broke my brain. Just . . . yes, headcanon accepted! [face_love]

    I liked reading about the family dynamics here, as well, with:

    He’s not actually my uncle, I don’t have any actual aunts and uncles, but I have a lot of people we call family. Uncle Sam and Aunt Ansley are probably the closest to me.

    Yep, and there are my overwhelming feelings. Right there. [face_love]


    My mom used to work at the White House, but she doesn’t anymore. I guess Aunt Ainsley tried to get her to go back, but she wanted to spend more time with me, Noah and Abi. She does work for a group that helps soldiers when they’ve gotten into some trouble after they come home. It helps them to get the help they need instead of going to jail. It’s kinda a cool job!

    This I can totally see - Donna would be as kick butt a mom and activist as she was in the West Wing. I really the liked the idea of her working with vets - it really, really fits, and I liked how it mirrored RL!

    Which led into Leo's endearingly thoughtful introspection about his father's PTSD. I love how he used the diary as Donna intended by worked his way through his thoughts through writing. His reflections were incredibly mature - after all, how do you rationalize something like that at ten years old? His final advice to his father to tell others about it to help take the edge away? Why yes, that completely melted my heart. Leo really looks to be the best parts of his parents, and I'm eager to learn more about him. [face_love]


    =D==D=
     
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I see we're skipping to the past again. This is clearly messing with my head, but I don't need to know much to follow it - which is great - and you have a great way of getting people curious, Darth Representative mavjade. :D

    The ten-year-old Leo hides surprising maturity underneath all of his goofiness typical for his age - we get "Daryl", the idea of former presidents being family members...but we also get his own view of the his father's condition, which is challenging, to say the least, given that we already read it from the adult POV. And he confirms that he had read it online.

    Love the idea of the younger twins, their names being in tune with Josh's Jewish heritage, and Donna's new job. But what stick out more than anything else is - of course - the whole notion that Leo needs a diary to cope with what he found out about his father. Let's see how a ten-year-old experiences a broad range of human emotions...
     
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  12. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Thank you guys! [:D]


    Sure! As long as yours can be mine?? :D

    Hahaha... that may just have to happen. But yeah, I think it would be tough to find something like that from the internet, but I also imagine it would be hard as a parent to decide when and if you should bring it up.

    I'll admit, it makes me giggle every time.

    I was trying to think of a think tank or something Donna could be a part of and then Justice for Vets just popped into my mind. I thought, yeah, Donna would totally do that. I love that Melissa Fitzgerald did that as well, it's so cool that she used being an actor on a show for such good.

    I'm glad you liked Abi Gayle. I didn't know about that tradition until my mom was saying something about naming a future baby the same as my name (that would make the 4th generation with the same first name) and my boyfriend said he couldn't do that (and I'm perfectly fine with that). He says Abi Gayle is still naming her after someone, but I think Josh would bend the 'rules'. :p

    And the longer I picture Josh with twins the more it delights me. I think he'd be completely overwhelmed... not that it takes much.


    [face_devil]... er, um :D


    That's Bri's fault. Once she wrote it, I just had to continue it. Children that outnumber Josh and Donna was just too good to pass up!


    I really wanted Leo to have a big family, even if they aren't biological family. I always looked at the Bartlett gang like a family, with Josh and Sam being the closest. I listened to The West Wing Weekly where they talked about the time in season 2 when Sam went to bat for Josh on trying to sue the group that shot him and getting angry at people who were against gun control. Those scenes (plus the flashbacks) really make me feel like they were pretty close, even if we didn't see it all.


    I figured if Donna didn't want to work in the White House anymore, she still want to do something really helpful, and after I learned about Justice for Vets I thought it was a great organization, and it would fit Donna well.

    I agree, it's hard to rationalize something like that as an adult, much less a child. I don't really know any kids this age, so I hope his reactions are believable. :)
    Thank you!


    Yeah... sorry, there might be quite a bit of time jumping, if only because my brain doesn't want to stick with child Leo or adult Leo. Both sides of him demand to be heard. :p I'm glad it's still okay to follow even if you don't know the show.
    Thank you! :D

    Yeah, his parents are kinda goofy, so I wanted some of that to come through. Also, I always found it weird to write to a journal or Diary. I never went so far as to name one, but I remember thinking it was weird. Granted, I never kept one for long anyway.
    I imagine learning something like that about a parent would be hard no matter what age, but at 10? That's rough, especially to learn the catalyst from the internet. :(

    The twins were Bri's idea that I stole when she used Leo in another fic. I guess we're kinda writing a joint headcanon. :p
    Hopefully I can express how a ten-year-old experiences the world. It's been so long since I was 10 and I don't know any, so hopefully I don't make him too young, or too old.
     
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  13. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    A/N: I don't think there's anything you need to know from the show in this one, though there is a note at the bottom.

    Tag List: Briannakin

    ~*~*~

    Entry 3:

    February 2nd, 2020

    Dear Daryl,

    Today was a great day and, I guess, a sad day.

    In the morning it was just a normal school day, but in the afternoon it was a fun day. Well, it was mostly a fun day for the little kids, but some of us 5th graders got to help out, so it was still a fun day. It was Groundhog Day, which my school makes like it’s a major holiday. We dressed up for the kids, had a party and we learned about the weather. The local weather man came and told us about how he uses computers and math to try and tell us what the weather is going to be like, even though they aren't always right. He also told us the story of how the groundhog predicting the weather came to happen for Groundhog Day. Apparently, when the Germans first came to America, they brought the tradition of a hedgehog predicting if more winter was coming. They couldn’t find a hedgehog here, so they used what they could find, a groundhog. The story says he can predict if spring is going to come soon or if it will be a longer winter. It’s kinda a silly tradition, but it’s kinda fun too.


    After school, I went to my dad’s office to hang out with him for awhile. It’s something I do sometimes if mom is busy and dad can’t get home earlier. I’ll tell you a secret, I actually love going there. It can be really exciting, and I get to hang out with my dad without the twins crawling all over him. Sometimes dad gets busy and I have to hang out with his assistant, Margaret, but she’s pretty awesome. She kinda reminds me of a weird version of my mom, except she lets me eat more candy.

    But today, dad was sitting at his desk working on something, and I was on his couch finishing a book I had to read for school. We’re reading Anne Frank’s Diary, you know the girl who hid from the Nazi’s in World War 2. After I finished it I was upset, I guess my dad noticed because he looked up from his work and asked if I was okay.

    I guess I was, but I also didn’t really understand, so I asked dad how people could be so mean. He came over and sat beside me and picked up my book.

    “You know, I read this when I was your age,” he said. “And I remember feeling the same way. I was scared and confused. Being Jewish and reading how a girl around my age had to hide and was captured because they didn’t like that she was Jewish. It's a scary thing to think about.”

    Dad told me how he talked with his grandpa about it. His grandpa was a captured by the Nazis but managed to survive. Dad told me how his grandpa told him it was okay to be confused and a little scared, but to focus on the good people. How there were people who helped Anne and her family. Dad told me that there were people that helped his grandpa too. That no matter what, there will always be good people, helping.

    When we got home, dad showed me pictures of him and my great-grandpa, and some of the few pictures his grandpa had of his family. He also showed me pictures of where his grandpa was held and promised he’d take me there one day like his dad took him.

    I’d like to go on a trip with just my dad. Not that I wouldn’t have fun with mom and the twins too, but it would be nice just the two of us.


    -Leo




    January 27, 2055

    I remember this so vividly, as though it just happened last week. I can almost see my dad sitting in the office that sits right outside of mine now. I was laying on the couch and dad was reading some briefing book. What he was reading was probably important, but when he looked up and saw me upset, he set it down immediately. He walked over to the couch and sat beside me and talked to me for quite some time. Then he packed up his backpack with that briefing book, and we went home.

    It was the first time I’d really ever learned about my great-grandpa Lyman. He’d been captured and taken to Birkenau, but his wife had managed to escape. She had been pregnant with my grandfather, someone else I never got to meet.

    It was a few years later, but my dad and I did make the trip to Oświęcim, Poland. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. To know the horror that went on there, the people who were massacred. The thing I remember the most was how quiet it was. There were quite a few people there; some were crying, some just look stunned, but everyone was silent.

    My own kids are approaching the age where they’ll read Anne Frank’s Diary, and someday I hope to take them to Birkenau like my father did, and his father before him.

    It’s a family history that has to be told and never forgotten.

    Today I wrote a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, and I thought about that moment with my dad in his office. My staff offered to write the statement for me, as is their job, but I refused. It was something I felt as though I had to do myself. I tried to recall that trip with my dad as much as I could, to channel the feelings I had, the feelings I know so many people whose families were brutally murdered. I promised that no matter how much time had passed we’d never forget and never let something like that happen again.

    I just pray I’ll be able to keep that promise.

    ~Leo


    Groundhog Day actually has several origin stories, but most revolve around Candlemas Day. I got the information I used HERE.


    So we don’t know much about Josh’s family, but one thing we do know is his grandfather was at Birkenau, it was mentioned in passing in the episode Six Meetings Before Lunch. When arguing about reparations for slavery, Josh says "I'd love to give you the money, I really would. But I'm a little short of cash right now. It seems the S.S. officer forgot to give my grandfather his wallet back when he let him out of Birkenau." We never learn any more.


    I’ve never been to Birkenau, but I based the quiet off when I was at the Flight 93 memorial (The plane that crashed in PA from 9/11). I’d never been some place that was so crowded, and so silent. It was quite moving and years later I still think about it.


    A/N 2: I'm not very happy with this because I feel it doesn't do the topic justice, but I didn't have much more time to work on it. I wanted to have Josh and Leo have the conversation about Josh's grandfather at some point and then when Trump's Holocaust Remembrance Day statement didn't mention anything having to do with Jews or anti-semitism I was incensed. I guess this is kinda my way with dealing with that, even if I'm not entirely happy with it. I'm taking a page from Aaron Sorkin (the writer/creator of TWW) who talked about putting out writing that isn't perfect to you, and that sometimes you have to and it's okay.
     
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First, replies to your replies:

    There is nothing to be sorry about - I like the idea of comparisons between Leo's youth and Leo's adulthood. To figure out ourselves, in whichever decade of our lives, we need to revisit our past and make peace with it. Reading old diaries usually starts as cringe-worthy and embarrassing, but then all these realisations pop up, showing you that diaries are unique, all of them, capturing the spirit of a particular period of time. :) So, this is great.

    Unlike you, I wrote a diary every day from January 01st, 1996 until about mid-2002, but there was a lot of self-censorship going on. I could not "vent" and at that point, it was weird to me, too. But then I realised that I have the NATO Bombardment and the Bulldozer Revolution there, as well as some minor historical events. And that, as I said above, captures the spirit of a particular period of time.

    And excuse you, I was ten one year before you. :p You can do a ten-year-old right, no worries.

    In fact, your diary, the newest entry in particular, make me want to do what Leo is doing here. Re-visit old entries, perhaps even digitalise them and add details on how I see the very same days, events and people as an adult.

    February 2nd, 2020

    The contrast here is interesting - Leo starts out with something good established by Germans and it involves changing their own customs when they see something different and then, he goes on about a situation where the exact opposite happened, on a much larger scale. That's a serious blow to a child's soul and Anne Frank might be not suitable for such a small child just yet.

    Still, Leo's curiosity leads him to getting to know human emotions, understand fear, grief and danger. And then, he realises that he and his dad could use some bonding. :)

    And he-he, Margaret is like mom, but she gives Leo more candy. LOVED that!

    January 27, 2055

    Another significant day and it'd better be celebrated in 2055 for real. With all these Holocaust deniers and the current scary political situation, this glimpse into what - so far - looks like a sane future, makes me happy. :)

    I am glad that Josh waited for a while before taking Leo to Birkenau and Oświęcim - as said in the first portion of the comment, that would have been a terrifying experience for a ten-year-old. I had the misfortune of reading a poem about a little girl's braid in the museum in Oświęcim, written by Desanka Maksimović when I was, like, seven. Twelve, thirteen is a good age to learn more about these awful things.

    Leo cares about tradition - which is awesome.

    P.S. Love it how you found significant dates for both portions of this entry!
     
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  15. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Sure! As long as yours can be mine?? :D[/quote]

    Deal. You can live in 2007-2015 and I can live in 2020/2055. AND WE'LL JUST PRETEND THAT THERE'S NOTHING IN-BETWEEN!

    I love how this implies that Josh can never get a moment's rest at home [face_rofl][face_devil] Head-canoning that Josh and Donna had twins is PROBABLY the most evilest thing I have done in this fandom and I don't care. I love it and I love that you accepted it (also, I as working on a fic for you to cheer you up on Inauguration day a couple weeks ago. I didn't get it done, but now I've been inspired to go back to it).


    I love how Margaret is still secretary for the COS. I know it would be unheard of in real life, but the show ignored some facts like average stints for employment in the White House, so I think we can adopt it into fanfic (I mean, total aside, but if the show had continued past season 7, I think most of the supporting actors would have come back).

    And of course Margaret would feed Leo candy.


    Josh asking Leo if he was okay was just so powerful - it shows the kindness of a father. I really liked how you fleshed out Josh's family backstory. The show dropped so many hints at backstories but very rarely fleshed them out (I guess that's the beauty of fanfic - we get to do it). I liked that you picked up the "Grandfather's wallet" one.


    Wow. That was just needed in more ways than one.

    Then the reflection of Leo remembering that interaction with his dad in the office just outside his own, really brought an image of support. Like Leo is president now, but his dad is still supporting him as COS, even though he is gone. But then this:


    I'm sorry. I just started laughing. Josh and his love for his backpack!

    I love the characterization this gives Leo. So much of his mom is in him, but he takes after his dad.

    Thank you, so much, for writing this. It was powerful.
     
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  16. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I think that Mr. Sorkin would have been proud of this update! Not to politic-bash too much here, but Trump's Holocaust Remembrance Day statement left me as angry and nauseated as it left you, and this was cathartic to read. I understand wanting to say more, but this was beautifully expressed for what you did say. You don't have to worry about that at all. =D=

    YES, MARGARET! Because she so would. :p

    THIS. What's important here is history being remembered from generation to generation, both the good and the bad. Josh is such a good dad in this - the mental image of his twins crawling all over him, anyone? :D [face_love] - and this was a powerful lesson to leave with his son.

    The last line was especially chilling in light of recent events. That's the way you honor the past, and I love that you gave Leo's voice a chance to do so here! I am just going to happily cocoon myself in your guys' TWW diaries this year and forget the world. ;) =D==D=
     
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  17. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    AN: Even though I've had parts of this written for several weeks, the end of the month kinda snuck up on me. This had a second part with older Leo as well, but that part isn't quite finished, and since it's the end of the month I'm going to post the first part now. I'll post the second part in the next few days, and I'll post my thanks and comments on your comments then, because I'm too tired to be coherent right now.
    I'll also wait to tag people who requested it then.

    ~*~*~*~

    February 23th, 2020

    Dear Daryl,

    This weekend was a lot of fun. My best friend Josie got to come stay with us! Josie and I have known each other our whole lives, but we don’t get to see each as much anymore because Josie lives at the White House. Yes, she’s Uncle Sam and Aunt Ainsley’s daughter. Yes, I know, it’s weird that I have a girl best friend, but we’ve know each other forever.

    She doesn’t really get to go to other people’s houses that much because she has to have Secret Service with her and that makes things a lot harder. But our house is perfect because my dad has a Secret Service agent with him at all times and our house had all sorts of upgrades before Uncle Sam became President.

    It was kinda cool, they put in all new glass in the windows, I think they're bulletproof, and put alarms on everything. I can’t open a window without telling someone, or an alarm will go off, and one of the Secret Service guys will come running in. Yeah, I did that once. Oops!

    But thanks to all of that, Josie can stay with us and it’s no big deal.

    On Friday night, mom let us stay up really late and watch movies. We watched Star Wars because, well, that’s what we always watch when we’re together and the most recent one just was released on digital. Josie loves the newest ones when we were little she was always playing Rey, and I played Luke. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but we were little. I really like the original ones even if they are kinda old. I like old movies, what can I say.

    Then Saturday we spent the day helping my mom bake brownies and hung out with the twins. Josie doesn’t have any brothers and sisters, so she loves to babysit mine. She says they are cute, and I guess she’s right, they are pretty cute. I really love it when they start talking, and no one else knows what they are saying. Some people might say they are just baby talking, but they plan things together. One time they babbled for a bit, and then Abi stood on top of Noah and climbed over the baby gate. They do things like that all the time. I think it’s Abi that talks Noah into things because she’s always the one climbing or jumping and he just helps. I think Noah would rather just sit and play with his toys. He'll sometimes follow me into my room and just sit on the floor and draw or color while I'm going my homework.

    Anyway, Josie left today and went back home. I hope we she can come over more often, I miss seeing her all the time, and it was fun having here for the weekend. Maybe this summer we can spend longer together when we don't have school.

    -Leo
     
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  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Awwww! Leo and Josie are just so adorable! I love that Sam's and Josh's kids are best friends and that they are Star Wars nerds (full disclosure: I'm working on a Josh/Donna fic and Leo wears a Kylo Ren backpack and I had a moment of "wait, what? Have I posted that already?" Great minds think alike Mav!).

    And Noah and Abi! I'm like here having traumatizing flashbacks. But they are so cute!

    I cant wait for more!
     
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  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Did you just...did you just pull a me? :p Sort of, that is. :D With that random SW/RL mashup? If so, totally flattered.

    Love it how these children get to play, despite how rigorous everything around them is and how they're, in a way, hostages to their parents' positions in the country. While there are people who have these alarms on windows and aren't politicians and important folks, they most certainly don't have security guys running in if a random kiddie mishap happens. Eeek. Yet, Josie and Leo see all of this as normal.

    And the part where Leo confesses to Daryl that his best friend is a GIRL was priceless.
     
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  20. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    That's amazing! Yeah, the few times I tried to keep a diary, I went back and read parts and just cringed. I think I ended up throwing them away. It probably would be interesting to go back and read now.

    I think that would be really interesting as a self reflection thing!



    I started out with the Groundhog day as just a throwaway line, and then when I saw it was from German origins I thought it was great to use as another side to what was coming. I was Leo's age when I read Anne Frank's diary, and while I don't really remember how I reacted, I think I just didn't quite understand. But I was quite naive so I thought someone like Leo might have understood a bit more.


    Thanks! Margaret is kinda cooky, but has some similarities to Donna so I thought it would be fun to have Leo see those similarities, but Margaret isn't as 'mom' like. :p


    I certainly hope it still will be! This is my sane future, but is based on an idealistic past so, who knows!

    Yeah, I don't think a ten year old would quite understand and it wouldn't have the impact that it should. I know I went on field trips when I was that age to places that were of US importance and I liked them, but they had a lot more impact later on when I really understood what had happened. I wanted that experience for Leo to be at it's most impactful.

    I've always had a fondness for tradition (Traditiooooonnn.... Tradition. Sorry, I can't say that word without Fidler on the Roof popping into my head.) and both Donna and Josh showed some as well, so I thought it would be nice for Leo to have it as well.

    Thank you! That's probably the last time it will manage to work out that way! :p

    - - -

    DEAL! :D

    As soon as you mentioned it, it was just too cute to pass up! And yeah, I think Josh doesn't get a moments peace anywhere... work or home. Maybe I should give poor Josh some means of a hobby or something so he can have a few moments to himself.
    And yay for a potential cheer up fic! :D


    Yeah, it would be unheard of, but in my head she stuck around for Josh when he was CoS for Santos, and then because she's so loyal, she stuck with him. Josh was Leo's protege, so I think she'd see it as continuing to serve Leo.
    But could you imagine what she would know being the assistant to the CoS for 3 different Presidents?? And because she seems to know everything, she probably really does know everything.


    That was one moment that was such a small part of canon, but really stuck with me. I wish we'd learned more, but like you said, that's what fanfic is for!


    I stole that idea from somewhere, but for the life of me, I can't remember where. The idea stuck with me, but not the source.

    This is exactly what I was going for! Leo still looks to Josh, even if he's gone, and it's the easiest to just imagine Josh in his office beside the Oval where Leo is. I feel a bit sorry for Leo's CoS, but since I have no idea who that is at the moment, I don't feel too badly. :p

    I had to work Josh's backpack in somehow, even if I didn't do an entire backpack diary. There will be more of Josh's backpack to come, because I've anthropomorphised it in my brain and it demands to be heard! :p

    Thank you!


    - - -

    Wow, thank you so much! Yeah, it was quite upsetting and since I was working on this at the time, it found it's way here.

    Of course, if only to get payback on Josh by giving his kid sugar! :p

    For all that Josh doesn't seem to be all that religious, he is passionate about human rights and I think he would want to make sure his family history was passed on. And yeah, the twins were just too cute to pass up!

    Thank you! And you are welcome to join Bri and me in our TWW world and forget the real world! :D

    - - -
    Round Two:

    Haha... I guess Leo was just destined to be a SW fan! :D
    My parents had friends from college that I basically grew up with, though they lived about 1.5 hours away so we didn't see each other all that often. I wanted that for Leo and Josie, but much closer.

    Hahah... I've always found twins ability to get into mischief with their own languages and seemingly psychic connection so fascinating, I had to give that to Noah and Abi! :D




    - - -

    Yep! You did it in your NSWFF diary, and then Bri did, so I felt like it was becoming a requirement. :p But it also was because I was trying to think of a movie they could watch and then it hit me that in Feb of 2020, Episode 9 will have only come out a few months before and it was too good to pass up.

    They've both grown up around Secret Service and so they just see it as a part of life. Yeah, I guess they kinda are hostages to their parents positions, but it's not all that bad, especially for Leo. I have no idea if they'd do that much to the Lyman's house (the USSS doesn't put their procedures online... go figure. :p ), but Josh could have Secret Service protection as the Chief of Staff to the President, so I thought it was a possibility.

    Thank you! I could see someone at that age picking on Leo for that, so I wanted him to address it.
     
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  21. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    AN: Okay, it was more than a day or two... I was tired. This is what was supposed to go with the previous Diary entry.

    Sadness warning. Sorry!

    Tag List: Briannakin
    - - -

    February 28th, 2055

    This was so much fun to read and remember how Josie and I used to hang out together. We really had known each other and been together our whole lives. I guess that’s what comes when you parents are best friends who also work together most of their lives. You're destined to either hate each other or be best friends, and thankfully we went for the latter. I don’t know that I would have ever made it here without her.

    It’s amusing to me that I wrote about watching Star Wars. We watched it so much I’m sure our parents could quote every movie without having to turn them on. Having kids who watch something over and over again, I now understand just how patient my parents were.

    Josie and I are still the best of friends, and we’ve never been far apart. After college at separate schools, we both moved back to DC as soon as possible since it was home to us. She was my best women at my wedding, and I was her best man. We’ve tried to raise our kids in the same way we were raised, together. As a family. Though her kids are slightly older than mine and I don’t think they’ll have the same relationship we had. That’s okay, though, they’ll always have each other.

    When my dad died, it was Josie who sat with me as I stared off into space completely check out from the world. I don’t know if it upset Marc that I’d respond to her and not to him, but he never said so if he was upset. He was amazing then, as he always is and I think I fell even more in love with him that day. That he allowed me to react and to not worry about anything else.

    I know it should have been Marc I turned to, and I did, later, but in the immediate aftermath… Josie knew my dad her whole life, and I know his passing upset her. She’s always thought of my mom and dad as her other parents; she even calls them Papa Josh and Momma Donna. When my dad died, I could see how upset she was, but she held it together so that I could fall apart.

    Anyway, while that’s something I could probably write so much more on, I have things I need to do today and can’t get lost in those memories.

    Maybe tonight my family can sit down and watch Star Wars together. It will be nice to do something as a normal family for an evening. At least hopefully we won't be interrupted, that's never something I can promise. Especially the part where we’ll have to figure out which one to watch, that should be pretty normal. I can hear the fight already.

    -Leo
     
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  22. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    This makes me so happy, but also sad (reading Leo reflect on the loss of his dad just hurts because you can tell how close they were). BUUUUT let's focus on the happy stuff. I love that Leo and Josie are still best friends and how they consider DC to be home. Really shows how they loved what their dads (and moms) did.

    AND MARC?! Hell yes progress!! I think we need to meet this Marc.

    Ugh. Sorry for not quoting anything. I just love it all so much!!!!
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Ooooo, does Leo have a boyfriend? Husband? I'm intrigued, too! Also happy that he is still close to Josie, to this extent.

    And choosing particular people to turn to in times of need does not mean lack of trust - just weird logic under stress.
     
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  24. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, the sadness warning was apt here, but powerful! I really adored seeing a bit of Leo's relationship with Josie (I loved childhood bestfriends staying that way!), and this was a sorrowful peek into an awful time of his life. Just:

    Ack - beautiful, understandable, and awful all at once. :(

    Another wonderful entry! =D=
     
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  25. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Yeah, I wanted them to be kids that didn't hate or resent their parent's jobs. WIth Leo, he was so close to Josh, something I'm hoping to continue to show and he really wants to make Josh proud.

    Yep! :D When I closed my eyes and pictured that first entry with older Leo, I was picturing him at inauguration and the person holding the bible for him was a man. So Marc just jumped right in and told me his place in Leo's life. And also yes, progress!! At least I hope we'll have gotten there by then!!

    No worries, I'm just glad you are enjoying it!



    Husband! I don't think that's something I need to keep back for future posts, I've mentioned his family before and Marc was a part of that, I just didn't mention him by name. He was there in my head all along, though.

    Very true and I agree! But some people get jealous and angry when someone turns to someone else. It's sad when that happens, but I've seen it happen. :(


    I love childhood best friends staying that way as well. I've been friends with my best friend since we were in 5th grade. We don't get to see each other very often as we live 500 miles apart, but I know she'd do anything for me, and I for her.

    This also kinda comes from my childhood best friend. I called her mom my other mom, and she did the same with my parents.
    I could see someone turning to someone that had been there, and known the person for so much longer, even if it meant not leaning on their spouse.

    Thank you so much!